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More Kids Of Deported Parents Landing In Foster Care

Aired 11/2/11 on KPBS News.

The connection between immigration enforcement and foster care.

— The New York-based advocacy organization, Applied Research Center, got government data showing the connection between immigration enforcement and child welfare.

Among the report's findings is that at least 5,100 children are currently living in foster care, prevented from reuniting with their detained or deported immigrant parents.

"What we found, is that a growing number of parents aren't able to make that decision," said Seth Freed Wessler, the author of the report.

Deported parents, he added, are not always aware of the implications of their removal by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE.

"(The agency) has clearly said: 'When we deport parents, we let parents decide what happens to their children,'" Wessler said. "But that's not happening in all cases."

The trend is especially felt in border states like California, Arizona, and Texas, but the report also relied on data collected in Florida, North Carolina, and New York.

An ICE spokesperson stressed the agency takes all necessary precautions to make sure children are either deported with their parents, or left with an adult relative.

Report On Immigration and Child Welfare

Above: This report from the Applied Research Center documents how immigration enforcement and child welfare are linked.

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